Fear Street: 1666 [AKA Fear Street Part Three: 1666] (2021, dir. Leigh Janiak)

The final part of the trilogy: events and characters between 1994 and 1666 are linked. A messy finale saddled with an offstage villain, variable accents, a weird lack of interest in its potentially-good ideas, and an hour of padding. Not great at all: precisely one interesting visual moment.

Here’s the trailer.

Rust Creek (2018, dir. Jen McGowan)

A young woman takes a wrong turn and ends up on the run from a pair of backwoods Kentucky meth dealers. An interesting take on a well-worn premise, spending as much time on character and relationships as on in-peril thriller/horror melodramatics. Lots of promise here from all involved.

Here’s the trailer.

Nobody (2021, dir. Ilya Naishuller)

A browbeaten family man with a past comes up against Russian mobsters. Okay action comedy with slapstick brutality galore. A fine cast, some invention in the detail, and a couple of neat directorial moments help, though there’s a heavy-handed approach to pop scoring and to the fantasy world of the movie.

Here’s the trailer.

V/H/S (2012, dir. Adam Wingard, David Bruckner, Glenn McQuaid, Joe Swanberg, Ti West, Radio Silence)

A horror anthology, linked by the contents of a video tape. Overlong (there’s a short movie too much) and at times repetitive, this is nevertheless a generally solid found-footage horror compilation, even if the dudebro-ness on display doesn’t always translate into critique. Two standout stories and the interesting credits (acting and direction) make it worth your while. Sequels followed.

Here’s the trailer.

A Quiet Place Part II (2020, Dir. John Krasinski)

A worthwhile sequel that follows the events of A Quiet Place. A tad more fleshed out and confident, this film eventually borrows too many tropes from other movies and video games – particularly the latter – and lacks the plot to deliver on them. Still a great central premise – worth watching.

Fear Street: 1978 [AKA Fear Street Part Two: 1978] (2021, dir. Leigh Janiak)

Young adult counsellors at a summer camp are targeted by one of their number who becomes possessed by a vengeful witch. Patchy middle instalment of the horror trilogy, awkwardly juxtaposing slasher pastiche with larger-scale storytelling. Makes the mistake of not grounding its horrors: good playing can’t disguise structural issues and some stupid ideas.

Here’s the trailer.

Fear Street: 1994 [AKA Fear Street Part One: 1994] (2021, dir. Leigh Janiak)

Teens in a rundown community are attacked by the latest incarnation of a cyclic horror. The first of a linked trilogy, this feels like a feature-length series opener, though settles after lumpen exposition into an OK riff on Scream via IT, while promising a more involved story. A fresh cast helps, though there’s nothing particularly new here.

Here’s the trailer.

Carry On Abroad (1972, dir. Gerald Thomas)

Assorted Brits book onto a package break to the resort of Elsbels. Single entendre-tastic and somewhat shopworn series entry, focused – like others of its time – on holidaying to set up character arcs, innuendo and basic gags. Almost a subversion of the disaster genre: Peter Butterworth is on fine form here.

Here’s the trailer.

The Woman in the Window (2021, dir. Joe Wright)

An agoraphobic and alcoholic psychiatrist believes she witnesses a murder. A strong cast and at-times confident direction can’t save this attempt to emulate a De Palma-ish emulation in turn of Hitchcock. A silly script is the main issue: good actors have little to do, though Amy Adams clearly relishes the chance to play vulnerable. Copycat did this better.

Here’s the trailer.

The Tomorrow War (2021, dir. Chris McKay)

A science teacher is recruited to fight a war that won’t happen for thirty years. Overlong, derivative (everything from Saving Private Ryan to The Thing gets pillaged) and at-times clunky SF/horror/war flick. The action is terrific throughout (and worth watching once for that alone), but the movie doesn’t know when to stop.

Here’s the trailer.